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New direction for Build To Rent as major player targets suburbia

Build To Rent, which has predominantly focussed on secondary sites in major city centres, is branching out to the suburbs.

One of the sector’s largest players, Legal & General Capital, is launching a Suburban Build to Rent business to develop large scale ‘single family’ rental communities in suburban locations across the UK. 

The new housing arm will partner with UK house builders and undertake a direct delivery programme to bring forward over 1,000 homes each year from 2024. 


Legal & General aims to be the UK’s first choice SBTR platform creating family homes in areas connected to schools, transport infrastructure and key amenities.

Having launched its Build to Rent activities in 2017, Legal & General now has over 5,000 homes in operation or development across major UK towns and cities. 

Legal & General’s SBTR schemes will be - in its own words - “community focused and service-led, offering residents choice, security of tenure and flexibility” and it says this has not been available until now outside urban centres. 

Legal & General’s SBTR developments will offer a mixture of houses and low density apartments designed to reflect new ways of living post-COVID, such as incorporating home offices and more extensive outdoor space.  

“Build to Rent as a sector has consistently demonstrated value to investors, delivering robust and defensive income streams, suitable for patient capital investment. It has shown significant resilience throughout the current crisis with strong rental collection and occupancy rates” explains David Reid, managing director of L&G’s new suburban division. 


“With working practises and demands changing rapidly, this is an appropriate time to broaden Legal & General’s BTR investment, into the suburban single family housing market. This is not only about strong investment prospects; it’s about providing high quality rental housing options for the growing number of families across the UK. 

“Our size and commitment to the housing market across tenures, means we’re in a strong position to lead the way in this nascent sector, delivering well-managed, service-led communities which provide a reliable and positive alternative to home ownership.”

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